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Comments 951 to 1000:

  1. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    OPOF @19, interesting you mention the transgender issue, because Trump is trying to reverse Obamas legislation on this here. So this is unfortunately a backwards step for transgender rights. But he is playing the his evangelical base, who only seem to care about sexual identity and abortion. They will put up with any ridiculous behaviour and policy as long as those boxes are ticked. Sigh. Me I just dont care what transgender people do, and cant see the problem with them. People come in varied shapes and flavours.

    But I think this is part of the "purity" thing in moral foundations theory. Conservatives are uncomfortable with shades of grey.  But again in my country many conservatives have come to accept homosexual law reform and transgener people, it just took them a while. But the core religious fundamentalist lobby think differently, and can swing elections and wield power.

    The trouble is (just between you and me) conservative media people are very powerful and take outrageous positions because this gets them good ratings. Its a vicious cycle because most conservatives are reasonably moderate, but these media characters inflame them and conservatives are easily influenced by authority figures. Strange times we live in.

    Anyway your comments on leadership issues and final two paragraphs sum up the problem, but at the same time I think we have to be careful not to antagonise people, point the finger,  and preach too much because at this stage it will probably increase the tribalism, and the "bunker mentality",  which is why I tend to focus more on the actual behaviours, and the economics, the tragedy of the commons problem and commonsense solutions and values that we could all aspire to (as do you).

  2. One Planet Only Forever at 09:25 AM on 22 October 2018
    1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences


    We do agree.

    I would add that people who are conservative the way you describe need to be distinguished from people who are leaders of Conservative or Right-wing groups.

    It can be harmless for a person to have a small worldview (short-term, local, their sub-tribe). The limits of their local actions could make them harmless to others. And they can be helped to develop a larger worldview (long-term, things further from home, broadening the diversity they include in their sub-tribe).

    Anyone in a position of leadership needs to be holding, setting an example of, and promoting a larger worldview than the population sub-group they represent. They interface with a larger worldview and need to ensure that the actions of their population do not negatively affect any part of that larger interface. And they should be governed by national leadership if they will not self-govern responsibly to limit their impacts.

    And national-level leaders should be internationally required to act in ways that are: very long-term, totally global, with the broadest acceptance of diversity of humanity including diversity of gender identity and sexual preference (which are two very different things, each having a broad range of diversity).

    That last requirement of National Leaders is particularly tough to get when they are tempted to try to appeal for the votes of people with smaller worldviews rather than striving to help those people develop larger worldviews and risk not getting their votes.

    However, the toughest requirement to get from national leaders appears to be commitment to correct incorrectly and unsustainably developed perceptions of superiority relative to others. That is the challenge faced by people trying to get leadership to act responsibly regarding the IPCC reports. It is very easy for competitors for national leadership popularity to drum up support by appealing to greedy selfishness. It is more challenging if that same political group also appeal for support from less tolerant smaller worldview people. And that irresponsibly developed popularity will influence the actions of leaders who see the need for a minimum level of popularity to remain as the leaders.

    That is the damaging reality of many developed Conservative Political Parties. They may have supporters who want Climate Action, but many of those supporters do not want it to cost them any perceived status of reduction of developed lifestyle. And many of those supporters will still support the party if it does not Lead Climate Action but appears to be delivering on actions that suit their less tolerant smaller worldview, which are more important to them than climate action.

    Many conservatives may individually be nice people, as long as you do not challenge their small worldview. And their local actions may be harmless to the future of humanity. But the current developed united conservative political groups are globally becoming a big problem for the future of humanity.

  3. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    OPOF @17, I think we are basically in agreement, probably saying the same things in slightly different ways. 

    I have read Al Gores book The Assault on Reason (very good) and another book The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney.

    Yes I noticed your comment on the bridge, and how it was a rejection of so called big government. I just agree this is crazy thinking. I would say none of us want an over bearing government that rules every aspect of our lives, but theres a simple obvious case to be made for governments providing 1) safety rules in some industries and 2) funding core infrastructure or at least planning the system (such as roading), as you obviously realise, maybe others just dont see it. Frankly anyone who doesn't get it is a bit of an ideological fanatic, or is letting their gut feelings and paranoias about government rule their intellects too much.

    I think the thing with government safety codes is they are very good and necessary, but can sometimes get a little out of control. Bureaucrats do sometimes try to build empires, but its really easy to have mechanisms in place to minimse this, so various auditing procedures and Asian countries sometimes do this really well, but for people still to be arguing whether governments should or should not have a role "in principle" is dark age thinking and so dumb, yet Americans do this.

    I agree anyone can be altruistic. It's a choice ultimately.

    I think the thing with conservatives is they are quite altrusitic with their local communities, or no more or less so than democrats, but are naturally tribal and suspicious of "foreigners" and also government programmes that promote altruism, and more so than liberals, so their altrusim doesn't extend so easily to foreigners and helping other countries. Its a suspicion of people who may appear to be different, or an unknown quantity so its understandable and not entirely wrong, yet this suspicion can so easily become an irrational fear and turn into prejudie and bigotry. But I would not see this suspicion of foreigners as a "fixed" state of mind or value. For example, in  NZ conservatives have (in the main) become big champions of immigration and multi culturalism.

    Likewise conservatives were very supportive of environmental regulations in the 1960's and 1970's but the small government thinking then gained ascendency with Reagon and the rest is history unfortunately.

  4. One Planet Only Forever at 03:07 AM on 22 October 2018
    1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences


    Some of my reply to Evan relates to the points in your comment. There are few additional things to consider.

    In the bridge example, the local community was offered financial assistance to get a proper bridge. Those regional leaders appear to have been so dogmatic about 'smaller government is better government (less regulation of what can be done, less taxes collected and directed to public work, more local control is better)' that they refused to accept assistance that would 'impose things they did not want, on them' based on the belief that they 'knew better'.

    Reading "The Enigma of Reason" by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber combined with Al Gore's "The Assault on Reason" is very enlightening.

    The belief that people 'know better' is what many psychology experiments and studies are confirming. People instinctively come up with reasons to defend a belief or preference they instinctively have. But the studies are also finding that every modern human develops a brain that is capable of evaluating the legitimate justification for their perceptions and impressions. Every human who is old enough - over 25 - has almost certainly developed a brain that can understand the need to evaluate their first impressions or developed preferences. Every human can learn to question their impressions, awareness and understanding. And that learning can undeniably happen after they have a fully developed brain for doing that.

    What I see, based on much recent reading and observations of how people respond to the IPCC reports, especially the most recent one, is that many of the developed socioeconomic-political systems have developed people who encourage other people to allow their selfishness to over-rule an ability to understand the need to correct what has developed. They encourage people to believe that they have the right to believe that they are right (the right to resist being corrected). The damaging ultimately unsustainable results are beliefs that are detrimental to the future of humanity developing popular support, resistance to the corrective actions identified by the Sustainable Development Goals. A related damaging development is the less deserving people being rewarded with wealth and popularity to the point where the society becomes ruled by harmful selfishness rather than altruism.

    Every human is capable of developing and understanding the importance of having altruism govern the way they think and what they choose to do. People who choose to be more selfish are 'making that choice'. They are not 'incapable of changing their mind'. They are unjustifiably choosing to excuse and defend that preference. Increasing that awareness and understanding is helpful.

    A lack of recognition and reward for people who try to correct incorrect beliefs (such as the treatment of scientists like Micheal Mann or political people like Al Gore by leadership/winners in the USA), is evidence of how unsustainably incorrectly developed a society has become (how far they have developed in the wrong direction, how much correction is required, how powerful the resistance to correction is).

    So I would encourage you to understand that what is being seen is not a sluggish response to long term threats. What is happening is the development of popular support for profitable harmful unsustainable activities due to a significant portion of a population being easily impressed to like to believe what they prefer to believe, to the point of powerfully resisting being corrected in spite of their innate human ability to altruistically evaluate the legitimacy of their developed preferences and impressions.

    Humanity has only ever advanced because of altruism governing what is done. When altruism is not governing what people do the advancement of humanity experiences a regrettable hiatus or a damaging set-back.

    There can be impressions of advancement from technological developments. But without altruism governing and limiting what can compete for popularity and profitability those technological developments, including any attempts to profitably or cheaply 'fix the climate change problem', will likely be harmful to the future of humanity. Those harmful beliefs that are detrimental to the sustainable advancement of humanity include beliefs that magical future fixes will be developed, and that unjustified belief can be used to excuse not correcting the incorrect ways of living that have developed.

    Being positive about the future of humanity does not include positively believing that the future generations will brilliantly magically fix the damaging results of unsustainable pursuits of selfish interests today. Today's generations always owe the future generations sustainable advancements, with no harm done to them, only sustainable improvements. That can be understood by everybody. Anything encouraging people to resist that understanding clearly needs to be corrected.

  5. One Planet Only Forever at 01:28 AM on 22 October 2018
    1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences


    Some people will always try to get away with behaving less acceptably. And that attitude is encouraged to develop in socioeconomic-political systems where people compete to develop impressions of superiority relative to others, and a related desire to be free from restrictions imposed by others. They personally allow harmful selfishness to over-power the innate ability of every human to be thoughtfully altruistic. It is a choice they make, because their selfish desires are so desirable to them. And they seek any excuse to justify what they want rather than question the legitimacy of their strong developed desires.

    I would encourage you to understand that when risk of harm could occur, leadership of sustainable human societies have learned to accept the advice of experts. They impose regulations and legal mechanisms to force the general population to be governed and limited by 'experts'. Admittedly some will still try to get away with not being restricted or limited, but they would be limited and punished regardless of regional popularity or profitability.

    The bridge example is a curious case-in-point. Canada has had a national requirement for responsible Professional Engineers to be involved in the design and construction of every public-use bridge. Somehow, a regional authority was able to dismiss or discredit the advice of engineers and ended up with a near disaster that could have been avoided. There was no need for them to 'learn from experience'. And it appears they 'learned very little from the experience'.

    It will be interesting to see if the leaders of the Province of Saskatchewan are responsible and step in and force a proper bridge to be built. The current Saskatchewan leadership is one of those political groups that likes 'Freedom from Regulation', and uses that to excuse fighting against having Carbon reduction actions forced on them by the Federal Government of Canada (they are part of the group Ontario Premier Ford is rallying in opposition to the Federal imposition of Carbon Pricing on provinces that have failed to implement comparable measures.

    Any society or business that fails to develop responsible sustainable altruistic governing leadership will eventually fail (as the damaging reality becomes blatantly inexcusable). That understanding is critical, especially among the leaders and winners, for humanity to develop a sustainable future. Appreciating the need for leadership to ignore, and even argue powerfully against, the potentially easier paths to temporary regional popularity and profitability (appeals to greed and intolerance are very easy paths), is what needs to be developed in any society or business that wants to have a future. Altruistic restrictions on freedom are undeniably required (like regulation and legal requirements that force people to have more expensive bridges that are designed properly by experts).

  6. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    OPOF @13, I don't disagree. The point I was making is we know from psychological research that humans respond more urgently to immediate threats (and often remarkably altrustically) but are sluggish at responding to long term threats, like the climate issue. Its just because of how we are evolved to escape natural predators. This helps explain why the response to the climate threat is sluggish.

    However this is not an excuse, and doesn't mean we have no response at all to long term threats, or are incapable of altrustic thinking on wider time frames. Clearly we do think long term in a hazy kind of way, some more focused and concerned than others. I suppose all we can do is encourage people to see the nature of long term threats and the right responses and the value of altruism. Many of our behavioural responses are sort of automatic and innate, but it appears they are not rigidly fixed either. I certainly think humanity is capable of more altruistic levels of thinking and ultimately it may be forced on us by circumstances, but it may take time to evolve.

    I think the bridge example is horrifying and  a classic example of short term misguided attempts to save a couple of dollars. Its the almightly dollar that is the biggest impediment to thinking long term.

    Anyone with brain knows that you need a geotechnical report for a bridge. Even just a house really needs at least a simple penetrometer test of soil bearing capacity that takes little time, and costs almost nothing.

    But people cut the most ridiculous corners due to money pressures. Its astionishing the risks that are taken. But it depends very much on who is in charge of the project, and their personal standards of integrity and their level of respect for safety codes, and in my observation such things vary a lot from individual to individual. Fortunately most people are reasonably responsible and near the middle of the bell curve, or far more bridges would be falling down!

    But this sort of failure simply isnt good enough. Safety codes and geotechnical resports are there for a reason and money must be found or consequences can be tragic.

    Listen to the experts. They have the training and a wide knowledge base that arm chair amatueus like city officials don't always have.

    Declaration of bias: I'm a design consultant :)

  7. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42

    nigelj@4 I concur with your sentiments and your assessment. We have to keep pushing whereever and however we can. Carbon tax would be great!

  8. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42

    Evan @3, well thanks! And I enjoy bouncing ideas off you and others.

    I try to be optimistic because we need hope, but my natural character is somewhat pessimistic and cynical.

    Yes kicking fossil fuels will not be easy. It is a form of addiction I think and people will ignore even the most obvious dangers when addicted. But people do give up addictions, and all we really need is enough people to give up to create forward momentum.

    I think a lot of different things have combined to make it hard to deal with the climate problem, but that is not a reason to give up trying. One of the main ones is no individual wants to take strong action unless they see everyone taking action so we have a sort of locked up situation, and its not actually economically rational to make huge self sacrifices if you are alone or in a minority. This is why I think something like carbon tax and dividend is important, because it pushes everyone at once, if that makes some sense.

  9. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    OPOF@12 Thank you for your thoughtful response. When you write "... why people should listen to experts who tell them they need to pay more than they want to," this is an "ought to" kind of argument. My only point is that regardless of what people "ought to" do, my experience is that people must first experience first-hand bad effects before supporting costly intervention. Natural disasters lead to great resolve to better prepare, but if nothing is done within a year, the interest wanes, people feel secure again, and life goes on as before.

    There is no logic to why people ignore the experts: everytime we use our smart phones we have ample evidence of why we should trust scientists. Scientists really do know what they're talking about and society is full of examples of scientific successes. But people will always pay the least to get the most and put off as long as they can paying any bills they don't want to pay.

    It seems to me to be a tough nut to crack to figure out how to get people to listen to the scientists, other than waiting until a majority of people have experienced first-hand the ill effects of the warming planet.

    Fortunately there are coporations and municipalities that are making the right moves. We just have to keep spreading the word, talking about GW and CC, and keep pushing. We don't know what circumstances will move the public dialogue forward, so in the meantime we have to keep applying pressure so that when there is a move forward, our applied pressure will move the needle as far foward as possible. People are watching and reading the scientific community, and many will only have courage to act where there is a critical mass formed. Peer pressure works wonders both for restraining progress and for moving things forward.

  10. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42

    nigelj@2 I always enjoy reading your responses and bouncing ideas off of you.

    I like your optimism, but what dampens my optimism is that a person can see evidence all over the place that smoking is dangerous to their health, but not be able to kick the habit for a variety of reasons. The evidence we have with personal behavior is that even when people perceive a clear and present danger of particular lifestyle choices, they persist in destructive habits for a variety of reasons. Kicking the fossil-fuel habit will not be easy. I state this emphatically, because whereas I perceive the dangers as you do, I know how hard it is for myself to change my lifestyle to comply with warnings of the IPCC.

    But we agree that we must keep pushing forward in the direction that the IPCC is laying out for us. There is no option but to push forward in that direction.

  11. One Planet Only Forever at 07:18 AM on 21 October 2018
    1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences


    "We know from psychological research that humans are hardwired to respond with more psychological urgency to short term threats like a hurricane, than an insidious slow motion train wreck like climate change"

    I have read many recent books regarding the research that indicate that people will have an impulsive response to emergency, but can thoughtfully evaluate the legitimacy of their 'first-impression' 'gut-reaction'. Everyone has the capabiolity to be Altruistic. What they do is a 'choice', especially regarding climate science.

    When confronted with an immediate situation people can naturally react in the full range from: 'trying to be helpful to others at significant personal risk of harm' through 'trying to ignore what is happening' to 'running away screaming and trying to hide'. How each person responds 'in the moment' is their innate intuitive response. And that is not what is being discussed when discussing altruism or selfishness regarding 'responses to the improving awareness and understanding of climate science'.

    What is being discussed is the 'choices' people allow themselves to make when confronted with the climate science in a non-emergency condition, when there is time to reflect and consider how to respond.

    My point is that in non-dire-immediate-moment-emergency situations, people need to always govern their thoughts and actions thoughtfully altruistically when there is the potential for harm. Emergency responders are trained to be more altruistically helpful in such a situation than their basic nature would have them behave. They are also trained to keep themselves safe while putting themselves at risk to help others. They think first in an emergency. And surgeons also are trained to think about what they are doing when they respond to an emergency during surgery.

    That trained behaviour proves that humans can learn to be more altruistic, even to be willing to make a personal sacrifice, rather than allow First Impressions and Personal Intuitive Desires to rule.

  12. One Planet Only Forever at 07:12 AM on 21 October 2018
    1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    Evan and nigelj,

    I have followed your discussion. One point made by Evan@5 needs more discussion related to non-profitable removal of CO2, or any other perceived loss of potential benefit by current day people if burning fossil fuels is made more expensive or is restricted.

    "But how do you demonstrate to the average voter that they should pay year after year to avoid a future that is only predicted in computer models and that they are not now experiencing?

    We have to first experience the future we are trying to avoid."

    The following CBC news item is about a bridge disaster in a region in Canada that is an example of why people should listen to experts who tell them they need to pay more than they want to, or have to do something they do not personally think they will benefit from.

    "Municipality where bridge collapsed opening day doesn't regret declining provincial cash for better bridge"

    Thankfully the bridge collapsed without injury or loss of life. It could have stayed standing until a loaded bus was crossing it. And experts using models and detailed understanding have successfully designed many bridges in Canada (and around te world) without learning from failures. And in cases of failures most cases are discovered to have been a failure to follow the instructions of the experts when building the bridge, or not listening to experts who advise that a bridge has deteriorated to the point of needing repair.

    Understanding the need to act to limit the harm to future generations is the fundamental requirement. That leads to understanding the need to accept the recommendations of experts, even if what the experts say is contrary to personal interests. People can only be free to ignore expert advice if they, and only they, will suffer any negative consequences.

    The learning from the response to climate science is that many developed socioeconomic-political systems have failed to ensure responsible leadership, leadership that would ensure that the entire population is properly educated about how to behave as a helpful part of a sustainable society. In fact, what can be seen is that some of the more supposedly developed nations have actually encouraged people to be less understanding of their responsibility to be helpful regarding the future of humanity.

  13. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42

    Imho the new IPCC report on 1.5 degrees could turn out to be a damp fizzer with little impact. It is good science with a welcome sense of urgency, but I doubt it will have the impact hoped for, because numbers like 1.5 degrees, and 2 degrees and a difference of 100mm in sea level rise wont sound terribly dangerous to the average person. Regulars on this website understand the difference is serious, but others might not.

    I think equal attention needs to be placed on IPCC worst case scenario projections that warming could potentially reach about 12 degrees C by the year 2300 if we go on burning fossil fuels , because this number is genuinely scary and without needing too much detailed explanation of why. While we know people struggle with comprehending and responding to longer term issues, the year 2300 is just not that far away.

    I know the IPCC prefer to avoid long term time frames in case it creates a sense of complacency, and the modelling is less certain, but I think that is a mistake. You need to scare people with hard numbers like 12 degrees, and massive sea level rise, not things like 100mm of sea level rise and desperately hyping its significance.

    Happy to be criticised if you think I'm wrong.

  14. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42

    I enjoyed and call attention to 'How A Viking Swimming With A Sheep Led To Climate Change Denial'.  It's a powerful reminder of how people who desperately wish something to be true (in this case, the Medieval Warm Period) will inflate any possible evidence into a 'proof'.  Apparently, it was recorded that in the 10th century, a Greenland Viking swam to a neighbor island to get a sheep, then swam back.  Clearly, the World was quite warm back then, because Greenland is the World.  Also, a 10th century book of Viking lore, which includes accounts of mermen giving prophecies, and witches luring fish into their baskets, should be taken literally as a serious account of Viking history. 

  15. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    Evan @10, good summary. We know from psychological research that humans are hardwired to respond with more psychological urgency to  short term threats like a hurricane,  than an insidious slow motion train wreck like climate change, together with its political dimensions and vested corporate interests, but I would contend we are not helpless to deal with it either. Some people are futurist thinkers and can raise awareness and persuade as best they can.

    We clearly need emissions cuts otherwise negative emissions technologies would be forever running to catch up, at huge and unacceptable cost or land area would just be insufficient.

  16. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    nigelj@9 I think you make a great point with your statement

    "And playing devils advocate, people might actually be more receptive to negative emissions projects because it means they dont have to make as many painful adjustments to their own lives." This still requires them to perceive the problem, but simply accept a more palatable solution.

    But we will likely need cuts plus negative emissions. 30 years of climate awareness and exponential growth in the renewable-energy sector and CO2 concentrations are still accelerating upwards with no indication of any slowdown. So far we are not yet slowing the increase of CO2.

  17. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    nigelj@9 I agree with your points.Let me restate what you said the way I see it (not disagreeing here, just restating in a different manner).

    I think most people agree that we will not make real progress towards implementing negative emissions technologies until there is a sufficient acceptance of the bad effects of climate change that must be mitigated. I also think the hope of scientists is that from that point onwards that the climate plays nice so that we have a second chance to reign things in.

    Because you and I study climate change we are in a sense already living in the future, because the science we are reading about has taken us foward. You and I accept what the scientists are saying and we are already "feeling" the effects of climate change through our mental exercise of studying and writing about climate chance. But quite honestly, in Minnesota where I live, there are no real bad effects of climate change yet, so for me it is still something that does not affect me except through my intellectual study. And yet I fully acknowledge the desperate race we are in and the fact that we are out of time. I'm just afraid it's going to take a long time to get others on board.

    So my hope is that through the efforts of the people who understand the desperate situation (i.e., IPCC, climate scientists, progressive companies and individuals, SkS team members, etc.) we're in that we can buy enough time until a majority of voters get on board to start voting for real action. As you say, there's a perception problem. We must find ways to get people to perceive the problem.

    We must take people into the future for a glimpse of where the train is taking them. Maybe then they will properly perceive the problem.

  18. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    Evan @8, good points. There are indeed several benefits to changing to renewable electricity and direct air capture really has just one in that it removes CO2. However I would just suggest theres still a perception issue with both.

    I think its more of a timing issue. By the time people wake up fully to the more immediate threats from extreme weather and that climate change is here with a vengeance, at that point (but not before) they may start to see the need for projects like direct air capture in addition to reducing emissions at source. I mean by then we may be in a siutation of just having to do everything possible pretty quickly. 

    And playing devils advocate, people might actually be more receptive to negative emissions projects because it means they dont have to make as many painful adjustments to their own lives. 

    However this is not how I want things to happen. Its just the odd way that people probably react. The way I see it is ideally the focus should be on renewable energy, and negative emissions technologies should ideally be a last resort just to mop up remaining emissions that we simply struggle to reduce. I think the case for this has been made plenty of times.

  19. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    nigelj@7 There are immediate benefits to switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, such as low running costs, business planning that is possible when you don't have to be concerned about volatile energy prices, and for countries like China, reduced demands on an already overtaxed water supply (i.e., wind and solar don't need cooling water like fossil-fueled power plants do). There are many immediate and tangible reasons to switch to renewable energy, and corporations that are used to planning 30 years into the future readily choose renewables for these reasons.

    But even though renewables can be cheaper in the long run for individuals, people are slow to adopt solar, geothermal, and superior insulation because of the high upfront cost. It is hard work to convince someone to pay more upfront even though it will benefit them 10 years down the road. What benefit is there for removing CO2 from the atmosphere? The benefits are decades in the future, and they are not as tangible as the savings from a geothermal system will be. I am skeptical that we will ever convince a majority of people that to support CO2 removal, because it is not in their best interest: it is only in the best interest of their children and grand-children, provided they trust the scientists who telling them that.

    What we're finding with the recent hurricanes, wildfires, drought, etc. is that we will have an increasingly difficult time paying the bills for the warming to which we've already committed ourselves (in the US it seems we just borrow more money to pay for the damages). I'm not sure how we're going to convince people to pay to remove CO2.

  20. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    Evan @6, just to clarify I think our primary emphasis should be on reducing use of fossil fuels and converting to renewable electricity generation because we know how to do this and I think it looks affordable. I see direct air capture as something that might be useful in the future, and it appears more feasible and affordable than I previously realised, but its no magic answer because its still quite high cost (if you read the link I posted) and commonsense suggests we would need millions of these instillations and it wont be easy.

    I mean I think the most likely pathway forwrds is going to require a combination of reductions of burning fossil fuels and negative emissions technologies like BECCS and direct air capture. This is afterall the conclusion the IPCC has reached.

    Now to your points. You say of direct air capture: "That is, we will be asked to pay year after year to remove CO2 from the environment with little or no perceived benefit." Well yes, but I think you could make the exact same criticism of simply reducing use of fossil fuels couldn't you? I think the challenge is really to convince the public that both have benefits even if results are not as obvious as we would like.

    The challenge we face is certainly partly technical. Nobody would say reducing emissions and / or sucking them out of the atmosphere is easy. I would simply argue its not as difficult or economically disruptive as the pessimists claim, at least in theory.

    The problem is indeed that the public might not percieve much benefit. The problem is about convincing people and  motivating people and the sort of global cooperation required. The issue has become politically tribal, there is psychological denial of the problem (which is understandable) and so on. 

    I do suspect that once change gains some momentum, and becomes accepted, it will also be taken for granted even if results are not immediately obvious. Its a tipping point sort of thing.

  21. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    nigelj@5 The problem with any CO2-removal technology is that you first need to demonstrate the horrible future you are avoiding to motivate people to pay for something that has no immediate payback. That is, we will be asked to pay year after year to remove CO2 from the environment with little or no perceived benefit. The only benefit is the knowledge that we avoid a future worse than we will have. But that relies on trusting the scientists and their models. All of this is an academic exercise. If the air is foul, people are getting sick and they can't see 100' down the street, then we can motivate paying to clean up the air with pollution-control equipment. But how do you demonstrate to the average voter that they should pay year after year to avoid a future that is only predicted in computer models and that they are not now experiencing?

    We have to first experience the future we are trying to avoid.

    I am sure you and others will shoot holes in this analysis, but that is how I learn.

  22. wilddouglascounty at 05:52 AM on 20 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    I think you are right: the scientific community is pretty good about saying that increasing extreme weather event frequency and severity is attributable to changes in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic chemistry. But most of the public does not read scientific journals. Instead they read things like the following:

    "How climate change causes extreme weather"

    "Climate change causes severe storms that damage our homes, crops, and cost more than hundreds of millions in insurance claims." in

    "Climate Change Causes Extreme Weather Like Smoking Causes Cancer, Scientist Says" in

    "Where’s the proof climate change causes the polar vortex?" in

    ...and on and on and on.

    In the public forums that we are all part of, it benefits moving the discussion ahead if we keep bringing up the true causes of the changing climate, reminding folks that it's not some abstraction called "climate change," rather it is human emissions that are overwhelming our planet's ability to maintain a homeostatic balance.  That's all I'm advocating for, because we need to quickly shift gears to looking at ways to change those emissions.

  23. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    Evan @4, I agree totally, and I should have mentioned renewable energy costs. The only reason I focussed on direct air capture is Climate Adam mentioned it, and I seldom have time to cover all issues.

    Wind power is now the lowest cost option in many countries and solar is close, (Lazard does a really good analysis) so its just insanely ridiculous to claim that changing to these sources would be a major economic disaster. I also dont buy that it is even economically disruptive. Nobody is suggesting it would be done in just one year but the longer things are delayed, then yes the more challenging it will become.

  24. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    A link to the assembled whole Report, in its Oct 8 version:

    hope it helps, Jenik 

  25. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!


    Your concern appears to be that the media say "climate change is causing more extreme weather". I have heard them say this, and superficially this is illogical because some people might see climate change as changing weather patterns, so obviously changing weather patterns are not causing changing weather patterns. But climate change is actually technically a change in the heat balance of the atmosphere longer term. I think most people more or less understand this, or at least interpret the issue as "global warming" is causing more extreme weather patterns,  so I dont think theres likely to be huge confusion out there that you think there might be. 

    But I think you are right that more specific explanations are needed on just what it is that is causing the more extreme weather.

  26. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    nigelj@1 The problem with the "it's not too expensive" argument is that renewable energy is not only "not too expensive", but in many cases (maybe most cases) it is cheaper than alternative, fossil-fuel energy. Yet we continue to meet tough resistance to adoption of technologies that are not only good for the environment, but good for the average person. Sucking CO2 out of the air, whatever the cost, will not happen easily.

  27. CO2 increase is natural, not human-caused

    chromedome49 @24,

    The 45% isn't written in stone. Using the MLO data for atmospheric CO2 and the emissions estimates from Global Carbon Project, the 45% value has remained pretty much the multi-decadal value since 1990. Over the period 1960-90, the Airborne Fraction had been slowly increasing from an early value of 35%.

    There are a lot of waggles along the way. Over the period since 1959, annual Airborne Fractions have varied from 20% all the way up to 80%. The El Nino is one big factor in these waggles, as are big tropical volcanoes. Taking multi-year averages, the percentage is still a bit waggly. After the rise to 1990, there was a short sharp dip caused by the eruption of Pinatubo in the early 1990s, a rise into the 2000s due to the high incidence of El Ninos then a dip into the 2010s due to all the La Ninas.

    Where the Airborne Fraction goes in coming years? If we begin to reduce the acceleration of our emissions, it should start to drop, and drop quicker if our emissions begin to fall. Mind, all the waggles will prevent a clear sight of any such a drop for some time.

  28. CO2 increase is natural, not human-caused

    MY question is this: Since the total annual amount of CO2 has increased on an annual basis, the amount of CO2 from Earth keeps going up as well. I've seen reports that say "our" Co2 is absorbed to the rate of about 55%. That is consistently evey year. If, as some assume, all of earth's CO2 is absorbed, in ever larger amounts, how come our 45% is always left over?

  29. One Planet Only Forever at 00:27 AM on 20 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!


    I have seen statements like "... climate change resulting in ..."

    Of course saying climate change results in something is not the same as saying climate change causes something.

  30. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    The emphasis on 1.5C or 2.0C above preindustrial levels of CO2 is very abstract to most people.  Even among scientist, there is much debate about what level of emissions achieves these goals and what the damage will be.  I encourage the Climate Change movement look at the net zero carbon emissions economy referenced in the Paris Climate Accord.  This is simpler to understand.  Since we are already above the CO2 concentration level that causes amplifying affects (melting ice cap, reduce reflection of light converting  to heat in dark ocean ,increased methane from melting tundra, increased humidity in the air, et). a simpler concept to understand is that if concentrations are going up, that is bad.  Net zero provides a measurable milestone when CO2 stops going up.  We know exactly how much above net zero emissions in the average of air samples over a year compared with the same for previous years.  Reducing our emissions to the amount that can be sequestered achieves net zero.  Because the CO2 concentration will be much higher when and if we achieve net zero, the video noted we need to withdraw carbon from the air.  The only way to draw down CO2 in the air is to reduce emissions to less that what can be sequestered.  It is not emissions that are the problem.  It is emissions in excess of what can be sequestered.  Sources of sequestration can include yet to be invented technical withdrawl.  However, it does not have to.  Most of our human caused emissions are in the carbon cycle.  I develop the concept of a Net Sequestration Economy in this blog, and YouTube Video . If the world averaged the emission of Costa Rica, a country with health care and social safety net that rates high on happiness indexes, we would be removing 5 gigatons CO2 (over 2ppm)/year.  This is without break through geo engineering scheme.  When our culture at large understands the demand by nature to limit emisisons to less than what can be sequestered, we will have a chance. Until we do, the steps to achieve it will not be supported.  Please nurture this understanding so we can solve the problem.  

  31. One Planet Only Forever at 00:21 AM on 20 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!


    I am not sure I have ever encountered science reports, or even reliable media source reports, that say "climate changes causes (anything)" (I do not follow "Other News Media" which, by its less professional nature, may poorly present many things).

    I will pay more attention for that type of statement.

    Can you point to locations in the recent IPCC report where that type of statement is made?

  32. One Planet Only Forever at 00:14 AM on 20 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!


    Got it now. Thanks for the clarification.

    It is ioncorrecrt to say "climate change "causes" increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events". Anyone who has presneted a point like that should be advised to say "human induced climate change due to global warming caused by burning fossil fuels is seen in many ways including increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events"

  33. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Is this 'a key takeaway' from last week’s IPCC report?

    “B4.1. There is high confidence that the probability of a sea-ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer is substantially lower at global warming of 1.5°C when compared to 2°C. With 1.5°C of global warming, one sea ice-free Arctic summer is projected per century. This likelihood is increased to at least one per decade with 2°C global warming. . . . ”

  34. Ivar Giaever - Nobel Winning Physicist and Climate Pseudoscientist

    Ivar Giaever also said that climate scientists come up with a hypothesis to suit their biases then set about proving it.

    However, he knows full well that all science starts with a hypothesis but scientists then must try to disprove their own hypothesis. That's how science works!

  35. wilddouglascounty at 12:46 PM on 19 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    One Planet 12

    I am merely pointing out that saying that climate change "causes" increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events is a confusing statement because it is the increasingly number of more severe extreme events that changes the climate.  It is the elevated carbon fraction in oceanic and atmospheric composition that "causes" increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events, not the change in the statistical averages of those weather events, otherwise known as the climate. You don't need to use the steroids in sports example if you don't like it; there are plenty of other apt attributions of carbon as the reason for the changing weather patterns instead of confusing people by saying that "climate change" caused it. Come up with your own. 

  36. One Planet Only Forever at 07:07 AM on 19 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!


    I believe it is less helpful to try to get someone to relate to climate science in the same way that they relate to sports, rather thna simply telling them the basics of climate science.

    I also doubt that the change of term would actually change many minds. The reasons people are choosing to disbelieve and dismiss climate science has little to do with 'difficulty relating to the language'.

    As I presented, climate science is pretty simple to understand. It is just hard for some people to 'accept the required corrections of the ways they are living'. And changing the words would not make it 'easier to accept that required correction'.

  37. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Eclectic @262,

    I'm not sure whether you want (1) an appraisal of the various Nikolov & Zeller papers or (2) an appraisal of Nikolov & Zeller. (Note we move further off-topic.)

    On the first point, the V&R/N&Z (2014) Moon temperature doesn't seem controversial. Their Mars temperature has been involved in criticism from David Grinspoon but I would ask that if the Mars temperature results of Nikolov & Zeller (2015)(withdrawn) are in error, I would be interested to see the results that demonstrate that error.

    Of coure, their grand theory of a pressure-driven global temperature is so much cods-wallop. Yet published cods-wallop is not unknown and can at times be a useful exercise. Note Grinspoon's comment here:-

    Rather than aiming to be a universal paradigm-buster, Grinspoon said the study is better served as a handy mathematical approximation. “It’s a kind of clever, back-of-the-envelope way to calculate planet temperatures,” Grinspoon said. Should scientists find themselves with limited exoplanet data, something like the Volokin and ReLlez model could be a simple way to approximate distant temperatures.

    On the second point, the record shows that up to 2006 the pair have a history of publication but not in climatology. They turned climate skeptics in about 2010 and their first attempts at overturning AGW were dreadful enough to give them a reputation of swivel-eyed lunatics, apparently preventing publication of later work. The the pseudonyms were an attempt to overcome this rejection. It worked. Their 2014 paper has not been withdrawn. Their 2015 was published bu then withdrawn. Today they have a publisher who will publish any old crap of a denialist persuasion (described with others here), thus facilitating the publication of the dubious Nikolov & Zeller (2017).

  38. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    Thank's Mr Adam. Imho the report on 1.5 degrees is good science with a welcome sense of urgency. Finally The IPCC are spelling out harsh realities in strong language. Took a while to get there.

    The danger is that people will start to think we face an impossible task, and countries may be tempted to say its "every man for himself" and retreat into Nationalism just when the appropriate respose is Internationalism and promotion of more altruistic values. I mean the timing of Trumps "presidency" and Brexit could not be more unfortunate. But what is the point of existance if we dont look beyond ourselves to other people and countries in a helpful spirit of altruism? Ultimately everyone benefits from this, if only people could see this.

    In fact negative emissions technology including direct air capture may not be as expensive as people think, according to this article. However I'm not suggesting this in any way means we can go on burning fossil fuels, it just shows that climate mitigation is not as cost prohibitive as some people like to claim.

    One other thing. IPCC projections state that if we continue to burn fossil fuels its possible that warming could exceed 10 degrees celsius above early industrial baselines by the year 2300. This gets forgotten in the focus on the year 2100, and I appreciate the science community doesn't focus so much on the longer term because of the risk it will create a feeling that we have plenty of time to solve the problem. We don't! But warming of over 10 degrees would be catastrophic, and simply cannot be allowed to happen. Fossil fuel burning simply has to stop, and the sooner it is phased down the easier it will be.

  39. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    It wouldn't matter what Trump says on climate change, and how contradictory or absurd it is, his followers will follow. People love authoritarian blowhards, bullies, and anti intellectuals and as long as the economy seems ok everything must be fine in la la land.

    Trump's approval rating is back up to 44% which shows what Americans really value.

  40. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Art Vandelay @24, yes the polar cell would help keep aerosols near the arctic, although I recall reading somewhere that the boundaries of the cell have started to shift south due to the warming effect basically weakening the cell, sort of similar to the meandeing jet stream. So its complicated.

    But anyway yes cost might be the main limiting factor. I suppose automated aircraft are a possibility. The other problem is politics. Countries like Russia see mining opportunities in an ice free Arctic, so would probably not be supportive of the idea. Not that one country should be allowed to dominate proceedings.

  41. wilddouglascounty at 02:34 AM on 19 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    One Planet @ 9,

    The reason for the clarification is so that the average "Joe" understands the role that steroids play in sports, and knows that the enhanced "performance" from even a little increase is illegal for good reason. Furthermore, it is confusing to attribute a baseball player's enhanced performance to "batting average change," which is exactly what we are doing when we attribute increased freqency and severity of extreme weather events to "climate change."  We need to start referring to the sources of those changes, just like we do with steroids, so the public understands the connection, and once they do, we can move ahead. If new langage helps, it should be used. If you can do it with existing langauge, that's fine, too.

  42. One Planet Only Forever at 01:33 AM on 19 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!


    The debate is very powerfully fueled by desires to personally benefit from the understandably unsustainable and harmful burning of fossil fuels.

    The CO2 impacts are the most significant recently understood harmful consequence of the burning (an understanding that was pretty solid in the late 1970s). Many other harmful conequences have been identified, with some of them sort of mitigated by government regulation.

    The developed socioeconomic-political systems have developed unsustainable perceptions of superiority of some people relative to others. And those undeserving Winners have proven that they will not willingly have their developed perceptions corrected. And the developed socioecoinomic-political systems have actually allowed them to powerfully resist being corrected.

    Changing terms is unlikely to change 'willingness to understand'. The term climate change is not difficult to understand in the context of a simple understanding of the science. This site has many levels of presentation of the fundamentals. It is simple enough that I can make my own presentation as follows:

    • CO2 is a very important trace element in the atmosphere. Without it, the surface of the planet would be significantly cooler.
    • CO2 is increasing dramatically due to fossil fuel burning and other human activities. There is no other plausible explanation for the increased CO2.
    • Increased CO2 leads to more solar energy staying in the planet's system. The global average surface tempreature has been rising in response. The planet's climate system is complex and the global average surface temperature has its ups and downs, but the trend is clear.
    • Increased energy in any system will change the system. So climate change is what is happening because of increased energy in the planet's climate system due to human impacts affecting the system.

    That concluding statement is the same as 'juicing the climate'. And anyone fully familiar with the above string of connected points would get a reference to carbon-juicing.

    But using that term is unlikely to change the mind of anyone who has developed a personal preference for ways of personally benefiting and enjoying their life that they have to understand are unacceptable, and need to be given up, if they choose to better understand the climate science.

    Also, if the scientific community started using that term there would be claims that they are just making up new names. People have already claimed that climate science 'changed' the term it used even though the science has always been about improved understanding regarding 'the connection between increased CO2, global warming and climate change'.

  43. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    In a recent BBC news panel discussion wih denier Myron Ebell (Competitive Enterprise Institute) the host effectively silenced Ebelll a couple of times by saying something like "now lets stop there; again, you're saying you know more than the scientists ... but you don't .. because they're the scientists, so lets move on from that .." 

  44. wilddouglascounty at 23:20 PM on 18 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    I believe that the whole debate has been obscured by terminology, specifically looking at the changing weather patterns and referring to it as climate change--hear me out a bit.  Scientists have a good understanding of the causes that drive the changing weather patterns and increasing severity/frequency of extreme weather events, but when they summarize that dynamic as being “caused” by “climate change,” it confuses many, many people. We need to look at it more like baseball. That's because “climate” is an abstraction, i.e. the averages of actual weather events over time. “Climate” is very analogous to the “batting average” of a baseball player, which is an abstraction created by averaging the numbers of hits and misses the player performs over the baseball season, right? But if the player’s batting average jumps 50 points, from say .250 one season to .300 the next season, we start looking for the reasons. If blood tests show that the player has started using steroids this season, we say that the player’s batting average jump was “caused” by his using steroids because of what we know about the physiological effects of steroids on the human body. It’s not that he doesn’t possess a wide range of skills that got him to the major league in the first place; it just means that those skills were enhanced through the presence of steroids. When he steps up to bat and hits another home run, we say that the home run was “juiced” or likely assisted by his use of steroids. What we DON’T say is that the home run was “caused” by the increase in his batting average.

    But that’s exactly what the media and the scientific community has latched onto saying about the increasing frequency and severity of weather events. In baseball, enhanced performance is clearly understood to be an outcome of steroid use, and not referred to as “batting average change,” which sounds nonsensical and confusing. The scientific community clearly understands the physical role of carbon in the atmosphere and oceans and with great confidence can say that the resulting changed atmospheric and oceanic chemistry is what is driving the more extreme weather events, oceanic acidification and sea level rise. Excess carbon in these system and the resultant changes is “juicing” the atmosphere in the same way that steroids can juice the baseball player’s performance, and if we start saying that Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence were carbon-juiced weather events or some such terminology, the public will “get it” and will be more likely to move past the climate change debate and get down to what we’re going to do to get the carbon back into the earth so our weather patterns, sea levels and acidification will gradually return to levels we can live with.

  45. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Correction to last paragraph :-


  46. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    MAR@261 , my concern with Zeller / Rellez and his partner Nikolov / Volokin was more to do with the accuracy of the data they provide.

    Since the retraction of their 2015 paper (a jocular scandal, at minimum) and pointed criticisms from Gavin Schmidt, as well as by David Grinspoon [re some fudging of Mars temperature and pressure data], it casts even more of a shadow on their 2014 paper ~ which in one sense was a re-run of the unphysical ideas of Gerlich & Tscheuschner.

    I am not sure how much of the N&Z/V&Z business was an elaborate leg-pull.  Or perhaps they have simply "gone emeritus" and become denialist.

  47. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Eclectric @260,

    My personal position is that I do not recall reading Nikolov & Zeller before. There are certainly within it some worrying constructions within their model, that is worrying for a science faced by deluded AGW contrarians. (It may be diferent if you are researching exoplanetry climate.) Particularly worrying is the idea of the density of an atmosphere being a (or indeed 'the') contributing factor to the greenhouse effect. There is also the acceptance of the 37% result from Volokin & ReLiez which I consider to be badly wrong. (That is the idea that all airless rocky planets, if without an atmosphere like our Moon would have an average surface temperture 37% less-than a temperature calculated globally using the S-B equation j=σT^4.)

    But Nikolov & Zeller do present good accounts of the literature of lunar and Martian temperatues and also calculate a Martian temperature in a reasonable manner, something I've not seen elsewhere.

    Volokin & ReLiez I do remember as I did some simplistic calculations to unpack their 37%. I can repeat these with more confidence since Williams et al (2017). What I don't recall is their use of the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment data (as used by Williams et al) to check their Moon calculations. That is a useful calculation.


    Setting out the simplistic calcs that show the 37% value is misused for the Earth (& Mars as well):-

    The 37% does occur on the Moon. Thus using S-B to calculate the lunar average temperature yields 270K, an over-estimation of some 70K. Only a small portion of this 70K is due to the zonal temperature range (hot tropics, cold poles), perhaps 5K of the 70K. The rest is due to the diurnal range. The Moon with a 708 hour 'day' has a very large diurnal range. Averaged across all zones, the range is 90K to 360K. It is this diurnal range that drops the remaining 65K below the S-B estimate. An Earth stripped of its atmosphere with a 24 hour day will have a smaller diurnal range (perhaps 40% of the lunar range). This is the point where Volokin & ReLiez "briefly explore" the issue. They examining the heat storeage of the planet surface thro the night, feeding conclusions back into their simplified modelling and find hardily any difference (0.3K) due to the 24 hour day. Somewhere they have forgotten Hölder’s Inequality (errors due to averaging a non-linear function) from which that 65K derives. The Moon's temperature between any single 29½ hour period (those used by Williams et al) varies up to a maximum of 114K while the Moon over the full 708 hours varies 267K, thus the 114/267=40%. If the Earth's 24 hour 'day' waggles temperature by only 40% of the Moon's 708 hour 'day', the Hölder’s Inequality shrinks massively, back-of-fag-packet perhaps from 65K to 10K.

    Now, magically, add on the zonal 5K and subtract the 15.7K non-greenhouse zonal-heat-transfer effect (this value from Volokin & ReLiez) and the Earth non-GHG temperature returns to the S-B estimated value. This then magically returns us to a 255K non-GHG Earth and thus the 33K GH-effect we all know & love.

  48. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report


    From what I've read there would need to be annual injections during the northern spring, but injecting into the lower stratosphere or tropopause would still be an effective solution, because over the poles the stratosphere falls to roughly half the average height of the tropical stratosphere, and aerosols would be mostly washed out by polar cells during northern fall & winter. Similarly, much of the soot and pollution coming out of tropical developing nations ends up on the ice caps. 

    My guess is that getting the aerosols up there at a reasonable cost would be the hard part. 

  49. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Nigelj, Art Vandelay @18 just to clarify, my understanding is sulphate aerosols from coal fired power stations tend to be regional in their effects, because they affect the lower atmosphere, but they are short lived because they get washed out pretty quickly. According to the link I posted, to provide a powerful effect that lasts years sulphates would have to be injected right up in the stratosphere and this means they tend to disperse globally with all sorts of global effects and problems. So to confine an effect to the arctic would require injection of aerosols into the troposphere, but they would have to be replenished constantly, and possibly permanently. 

  50. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Art Vandelay @18, yeah I do recall reading that sulphate aerosols tend to be regional in their effects. The following research is interesting and highlights some of the problems with the whole strategy. I mean I do see a certain inevitability that technical fixes like may be used, and could buy time, but I prefer not to tak about it too much, because it takes the focus off doing the number one priority which is to reduce emissions. 

    Yes population is on track to head towards about 10 billion before stabilising. If the world adopted more procative policies it could be lower.

    But my point was that meat eating is a very inefficient use of land, and if we all changed to a vegetarian diet, or even just a low meat diet then there would probably be enough land to sustain a larger population without needing massive levels of deforestation. In an ideal world of course. However the case for adopting a vegetarian or low meat diet is becoming quite strong in terms of more efficient use of land, the methane problem, and also general health and longevity. So the population / food problem could I think be largely solved by more efficient use of land with a more vegetarian diet, so your argument that "CO2 is plantfood" is not a justifiable solution to this particular problem.

    I agree however that 10 billion looks like it is pushing the worlds carrying capacity to the limits such that any problem will spread and become critical. I think thats a really interesting observation. There will be no slack in the system. You see it already in the way the global financial crash became "global".

    Its also painfully obvious that we are already using resources at a prodigious rate, and this will leave a depleted stockpile for future generations that cannot be fully resolved by recycling. Population growth will make this so much worse, and reduced population growth is a relatively pain free solution.

    The climate implications of population growth are interesting. Most of the population growth is in the third world like Africa,  and they have the lowest per capita use of fossil fuels, something likely to continue, so population growth is not quite as large a climate problem as it first seems.

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